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» Wordmeister is back from A Blog Around The Clock
Just in time for "Best Writer" Koufaxes (LOL), Lance gets back to business: Why we don't like him Seriously, that is exactly the way we all feel. And Lance knows how to put it in words. Perhaps even words that... [Read More]

» Why We Dont Like the Little Lord from The American Street
Lance Mannion delivers the umpteenth wedgie, and all were completely well-earned. ... [Read More]

» Bush Derangement Syndrome from Blog of the Moderate Left
Lance Mannion has the definitive post. Let me add that yes, I hate George W. Bush.  Hate him with a white-hot passion for what hes done to our country.  Hate him for sending our men and women in uniform to die for a farce, hate him for trying ... [Read More]

» We don't like people who kick dogs. from Good Nonsense
For those of you who are tired of hearing "Yeah, you were right...but you were right for the wrong reasons," Lance Mannion has a post for you. Dog-kickers, backstabbing department heads, awful contractors, liberals, Bushnev, and the look-down-their-n... [Read More]

» Some Sunday Links from Mike the Mad Biologist
Here are some weekend links for you. First, lotsa science: [Read More]

Comments

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merciless

Exactly.

My 17-year-old daughter asked me what I thought of the SOTU. I said I thought he said a lot of nice things, pretty things, hopeful things. But he has lied so often, failed us so many times, that I could not trust a single word coming out of his mouth.

I told her it shouldn't be this way. We should be able to trust our president. I told her that someday she'll have a president she can trust, but not yet.

It made me want to cry, telling her that.

Claire

Good post. I read the first bit of that column and closed the screen. Nice rebuttal.

Mike Schilling

Lance, Lance, Lance, Lance. You'd be so much happier if you took the Pledge. Trust me.

burritoboy

"We don't like people who kick dogs.

We don't like corporate executives who abuse employees and hurt their own companies.

We don't like dishonest electricians who do substandard work.

We don't like incompetence and corruption."

To the contrary, we love such people: it's built into the very heart of liberal capitalist democracy: a system based upon our self-interest, not our love of the good.

We love corporate executives who abuse employees and hurt others - so long as said executives give us greater profits (if we're investors).

We love dishonesty and substandard work - if we didn't, we wouldn't love capitalism. If our priority was honesty and excellent works, we would be living in the medieval or ancient economy, not under capitalism.

We dislike incompetence only because our political system relies on technocratic bureaucrats who are to reliably enforce our own self-interests (not because governing is a mirror of the good, or an emanation of reason, or a reflection of the gods).

We dislike corruption because it interferes with our technocratic bureaucrats reliably executing on our self-interests, not because we hate the bad.

We don't like people who kick dogs, admittedly, but we love people who kick other people (whether through economic domination, our rigid class structure or sexual perversion).

Linkmeister

You've got a fine hand with analogy (do I mean simile?) there.

I don't have what the right-wing calls Bush Derangement Syndrome; I have good powers of observation. He's never been competent or even honest in his life; why should I expect him to change now?

Distrust and vilify.

Shakespeare's Sister

Mannion, I'm not sure what you're getting at in this post....

Just kidding.

Great work. As ever.

SAP

Excellent post, sir.

stinger

I never used to dislike Bush. Then I got to know him.

Paul the Spud

Dammit Lance, quit making me hate my own writing!

Excellent work.

Paul or the Giant Rabbit

There's nothing irrational about being highly skeptical of whatever GWB does, thinks or proposes, the putative merits of such thoughts, proposals or actions notwithstanding.

The guy has spent his whole life to date demonstrating that he's really, really bad at anything requiring intellect, organizational skills, diligence, or personal integrity.

In other words, "Bush Derangement Syndrome" is nothing more than the ability to observe.

Glen

SAP,

To paraphrase slightly: I used to dislike Bush. Then I got to know him.

sfmike

Amen. That's a beautiful essay.

I hate very few people in this world, but in the cases of those I do hate, it's not irrational. It's the guy I've seen kicking the dog one too many times, and thank you for the analogies.

As for Bush, Cheney and Company, the feelings so many of us have right now isn't irrational hatred so much as sheer horror.

Elayne Riggs

Wow. Nicely done, Lance.

jimi

There is no Soviet Union anymore, but everybody remember those great victories and defeats. We trusted in idea and we made our history through great losses...
www.backinussr.com

Wren

Excellent post. It would make a nice op-ed somewhere...

Echidne

A nice post. It fills in that empty space in the living-room where the elephant mutters about the irrational hatred of Bush.

grendelkhan

burritoboy, how're those rose-tinted glasses through which you view your ancestors? Wishing you could be dying at thirty of the plague, or having some king repo your family to work in the salt mines? Longing for the days of slavery and no damn habeas corpus? Shouldn't you be off voting Republican?

Quite an insult to your ancestors, that they all failed to create a generation following their own that was better, more humane, wiser than their own. Pretty cold of you.

jillbryant

I love when you say things I think but don't express well. I have heard this dismissal of someone - you're just a Bush-hater - a few times and think is that supposed to even make sense? It would be a great op ed. In fact, a lot of your posts would be...have you ever sent them in?

And, burritoboy - I don't quite understand your point. Are you saying capitalism means you can't do a good job, means you can't be honest, etc. I so disagree. I think you can be an honest capitalist and you can be a dishonest capitalist and the same for the rest of your points...Look at Costco, for example. (Or did I miss what you were trying to say?)

CaliBlogger

I'm pretty sure Lance's stories in this case might best be called parables.

And good ones at that.

At last, a cogent response to Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Sizemore

Ms. Shakes was right about you Mannion: you've hit the nail on the head but rather nice about it. As for some of the comments aimed at BurritoBoy, I think he's putting a creative spin on H.L. Mencken: "The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth."

I don't know about the rest of you people, but I've discovered the majority of the people who actually kick dogs are also the ones who are quick to claim they don't. They're bald-faced liars and Capitalism has a well-ingrained habit of rewarding such liars whilst punishing the hell out of the honest.

ggoblin

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Kevin Wolf

Excellent, Mr Mannion. One of your best.

Bitty

(Virtual standing ovation)

Those who don't believe as we do persistently, stubbornly view the cause and effect backwards. We don't dislike his policies because we dislike him. We dislike him because we dislike his policies.

Again, bravo.

Rana

*joining Bitty in the standing ovation*

mds

And, burritoboy - I don't quite understand your point. Are you saying capitalism means you can't do a good job, means you can't be honest, etc.

(Sizemore has already dealt with this somewhat, much more eloquently and tersely than I, but:)

No, but it is entirely optional, and even detrimental to profit. Unrestrained capitalism rewards success in the marketplace, period. The company that dumps mercury in the river beats out the company that takes a revenue cut in order to recycle heavy metals, all else being equal. Costco does indeed do quite well, yet institutional shareholders have been pressuring the company to start crapping on their workers, as God intended, in order to increase "shareholder value." And someday, James Sinegal will no longer be CEO, and what happens to bucking the trend in executive compensation and treatment of employees then? Pure capitalism makes a virtue of selfishness, by design.

Wishing you could be dying at thirty of the plague,

Yes, thank goodness unrestrained capitalism gave us penicillin. Oh, wait...

or having some king repo your family to work in the salt mines?

Yes, thank goodness the free-market economy voluntarily abolished involuntary servitude and child labor. Oh, wait...

See, these accomplishments don't require that we progress in exactly the way we did. In fact, the elevation of laissez faire capitalism to unquestioned godhood often hindered the Enlightenment in delivering on its promises.

So, no, I don't think burritoboy wishes he were living in a wattle-and-daub hut in Gaul when he criticizes our current economic system.

Whoops, sorry, I suffer from Robber-baron Derangement Syndrome.

darms

Nicely done, wish I could share it with someone who has frequently accused me of 'BDS'. She won't read it, however...

Anyway, one minor quibble - And we don't like Presidents who start unnecessary wars and lose them:

I don't like 'unnecessary' wars. Period. 'Lose' or 'win' is pretty much beside the point. And I'm coming more to the idea that there are very few 'necessary' wars, either

burritoboy

"Are you saying capitalism means you can't do a good job, means you can't be honest, etc. I so disagree."

The question is rather: what is the good or best thing? If doing work well is the best thing, then capitalism explicitly rejects such a formulation. Indeed, one of the core calculations within capitalism is how much you can reduce quality without reducing sales or prices (profit maximazation, in other words). Capitalism rewards maximum profit and rejects quality work for quality work's sake.

If being honest is the best thing, then again, capitalism explicitly rejects that. Honesty is primarily rewarded within capitalism because one can trust honest persons to execute on contracts with you. I.E. one's surveillance costs on one's honest partners is less than surveillance costs on one's dishonest partners. Thus, honesty is valued for it's contribution to maximum profits and NOT for it's own sake.

burritoboy

"Wishing you could be dying at thirty of the plague"

Or, under capitalism, your capitalist overlords could force you off your farm, crowd you in extremely unhealthy cities and make certain dangerous factory work was the only way for you to support yourself. Both Polanyi and Michael Perelman show that this political (not economic) process is what created the necessary workforces for capitalism during the early industrialization of England. The peasantry did not want to work for others, live in cities, work for money or work in factories. They were forced to do so. Peasants living on their farms had much longer life expectancies than the urban factory workers they were forced to become.

"or having some king repo your family to work in the salt mines?"

Actually, the kings of 1400-1800 promoted capitalism heavily and much favored the upper end of the merchant class over all other classes of society. There is no opposition between capitalism and political tyranny - as the Chinese "Communist" government proves every day.

"Longing for the days of slavery and no damn habeas corpus?"

Modern slavery was precisely a primary vehicle of early capitalism. Slavery had largely been near-abolished towards the end of the medieval economy. Robert Fogel won a Nobel precisely for proving that modern plantation slavery could only exist within a capitalist context - and was indeed the most profitable investment of the period.

Habeas corpus was a creation of medieval law, and is not some invention of modernity.

burritoboy

"As for some of the comments aimed at BurritoBoy, I think he's putting a creative spin on H.L. Mencken: "The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." "

Mencken only reflects Machiavelli's frequent praise of the boldest and most daring liars - since all modernity flows from Machiavelli's thought, it would be wise to pay attention to it.

burritoboy

"In fact, the elevation of laissez faire capitalism to unquestioned godhood often hindered the Enlightenment in delivering on its promises."

Read Emma Rothschild's Economic Sentiments for much wisdom proving precisely this point.

person # 0

bush was a mistake, our bad. he is not Christian....but sadly enough....none of u really seem to speak english. who are u trying to appeal to?

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